F1 H2O boats don’t really look much like boats – in fact, they’re more like an aeroplane with short wings. This is partly because they try to minimise the time they spend in the water. In order to go as fast as possible, they actually prefer to hover just above the surface. To find out more about these amazing machines, let’s take a closer look to Team China’s CTiC machine.
1: Engine: A Mercury V6 two-stroke engine(!) producing 450bhp and going up all the way to 9000 rpm. The whole engine until can swivel up and down, which is called trimming.
2: Transfer case: A gearing system that transfers the engine output to the propeller.
3: The propeller. The propeller is one of the key parts of the boat. Like the tyres on a racing car, it provides traction and propulsion. Various propellers of different sizes, weights and shapes are used in F1H2O. The propeller is chosen based on the conditions and fuel load.
4: Fuel tank: Takes 120 litres of fuel, which is just enough for a 45-minute race.
5: Hull: Every boat as a special carbon fibre hull, made entirely from carbon fibre.
6: Cockpit: Driver’s position. The driver sits in a carbon monocoque style cage which provides impact protection. The driver can ‘trim’ using paddles on the steering wheel and accelerate using a throttle pedal.
7: Airbag and ballast tank: (8) In the event of a crash in which the boat risks ending up face-down in the water, an airbag is deployed forcing the boat back up. A seal opens at the bottom so that the rear end of the boat fills up with water, stabilising it.
9: Oxygen tank: In a worst-case scenario, in which the driver and cabin end up under water, each boat has its own oxygen supply with a mouth piece in the cabin so the driver can breathe while submerged.
10: Steering system: Very precise steering by means of a wire system, controlled by an electrically powered steering system.